Europe 1 with AFP
8:18 a.m., November 23, 2022modified to
8:52 a.m., November 23, 2022
Two bomb attacks at Jerusalem bus stations killed at least one person and injured 15 on Wednesday morning, Israeli officials said. An explosion at a bus stop just outside Jerusalem injured 12, four seriously, and a second at another station demolished a bus and injured three, rescue workers say, while Israeli police call the two “attack” explosions. The Israeli police later told AFP that one of the injured people had succumbed to his injuries.
An AFP photographer present at the scene of the first explosion said the blast pierced a metal fence behind the bus stop, with an electric scooter and a hat lying on the ground. “We were in the offices of the Magen David Adom (Israeli equivalent of the Red Cross) at the entrance to the city when we heard a loud explosion. We immediately rushed to the scene in large numbers (… ) and saw two seriously injured people, a 16-year-old boy at a bus stop and a 45-year-old man on a nearby sidewalk,” said MDA paramedic Moshe Tobolsky.
While police and rescue workers were on the scene, another explosion was heard a short distance away, according to the photographer. “Different explosive charges were placed in the two locations. We suspect this was a combined attack,” Israel Police said in a statement. Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid is due to hold an emergency meeting with the heads of the security services at midday at the Israeli army headquarters in Tel Aviv.
Without claiming responsibility for the attacks in Jerusalem, the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, in power in the Gaza Strip, “welcomed” them, considering them in a press release as “the price of the crimes and aggressions” of Israel “against our people”. .
EU Ambassador to Israel Dimiter Tzantchev said he was “horrified by the terrorist attacks”. “I express my most sincere condolences to the families of the victims (…). Terrorism is never justified,” he wrote in a statement. In the wake of deadly attacks in Israel last March and April and other attacks that followed, the Israeli army carried out more than 2,000 raids in the West Bank. These raids, and the clashes that are sometimes associated with them, have killed more than 125 Palestinians, the heaviest toll in seven years, according to the UN.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Israeli military said the remains of an 18-year-old Israeli civilian who died Tuesday of a “serious road accident” in the occupied West Bank had been “removed” from a hospital in Jenin, a stronghold factions in the northern West Bank, where he was pronounced dead. The kidnapping was not immediately claimed, but local sources told AFP that Palestinian fighters in a nearby refugee camp were now in possession of the body.
The abductions of Israelis, dead or alive, have already been used in the past as bargaining chips by armed groups in order to demand the release of prisoners or the return of the bodies of Palestinians killed in clashes and kept by Israel.